Croatian-English / English-Croatian
The lexical level
Lexical analysis - with respect to:
1. 'reference' (ext. ling. content) - denotative
2. connotative meaning
3. figurative meaning
4. idiomatic use
5. semantic relations (synonymy, antonymy,
6. lexical / semantic fields / lexical sets
7. lexical taxonomies
• within one language
• between two diff. languages
• formal CORRESPONDENCE
• translational EQUIVALENCE
I. analysis of lexical units / system in L1
II. analysis of lexical units / system in
L2 (formal correspondents)
III. back translation (i.e. which correspondents
ensure TR equivalence and in which case
(context of situation)
False pairs / friends / cognates
Def.: lexical pairs in two diff. languages which:
1. share something, i.e.: partial match but not complete
risk: TLR considers them as TRUE pairs, i.e.:
2. completely interchangeable, substitutable in (L2) in the
same context(s) as in L1
3. partial / apparent substitutability because of:
– similarity in form (eventualno - eventually)
– common metaling. term / label in L1 and L2 (eg. prezent -
present simple: 'On živi u Splitu pet godina'; Ja sam
– in some aspects of semantic content (stado/flock - *flock
of cattle, *herd of sheep - vs. *jato ovaca, *stado ptica):
• False cognates are words that are commonly thought to be related
whereas linguistic examination reveals that they are unrelated. Thus, for
example, many people think that the Latin verb habere and Germanic
haben are cognates. However, judging by the way both languages evolve
Indo-European roots, the real cognate of the Germanic haben is Latin
capere, "to capture" (note however that Germanic haben and English to
have are cognates, and so are Latin capere and English to capture).
• It has been calculated that if one takes a word from a language, there's a
40% chance that one will find a word with roughly similar sound and
meaning in another random, non-related language. Because of that, even
finding several hundred similar-sounding words in a couple of languages is
not enough to demonstrate that the languages are related to each other.
Moreover, over the course of hundreds and thousands of years, words
may change their sounding completely. Thus, for example, English five and
Sanskrit pança are cognates, while English over and Hebrew a'var are not,
and neither are English dog and Mbabaram dog.; cf. Engl. bog (=an area of
ground that is always very wet and soft; wetland) vs. Cr. Bog
False friends vs false cognates
• False friends are pairs of words in two
languages or letters in two alphabets that look
or sound similar but differ in meaning.
• False cognates, by contrast, are words that,
due to strange similarities in appearance
and/or meaning, are often erroneously
believed to share a common root, although
the similarities are due to chance and
unrelated word evolutions.
cognates are words that have a
common origin / etymology
• Examples of cognates are the words night (English), nacht (German), noc
(Czech), and nox (Latin), all meaning night and all deriving from a common
Indo-European origin. Hebrew shalom and Arabic salaam are also
cognates deriving from a common Semitic root.
• Cognates need not come from different languages. For example, English
ward and guard are cognate.
• Cognates may often be less easily recognised than the above examples
and authorities sometimes differ in their interpretations of the evidence.
The English word milk is clearly a cognate of German Milch and of Russian
moloko. On the other hand, French lait, Spanish leche (both meaning
"milk") are less obviously cognates of Greek galaktos (genitive form of
• Cognates dish (English) and Tisch (table, German), or starve (English) and
sterben (die, German), or head (English) and chef (chief, head, French)
serve as examples as to how words may diverge in meaning as languages
• The term "false cognate" is sometimes
misused to describe false friends. One
difference between false cognates and false
friends is that while false cognates mean
roughly the same thing in two languages, false
friends bear two distinct (sometimes even
opposite) meanings. In fact, a pair of false
friends may be true cognates (see false
• False cognates are words that look or sound the
same as words in the learner's first language but
in fact are not so, causing the learner to make a
mistake. False cognates are also known as false
friends. They can be compared with cognates,
which are words that are the same in different
The Spanish word 'sensible' means sensitive in
English and the German word 'gift' means poison.
• For example, the words preservative (English), préservatif (French), Präservativ
(German), prezervativ (Romanian, Czech, Croatian), preservativo (Italian, Spanish,
Portuguese), prezerwatywa (Polish), презерватив "prezervativ" (Russian) and
preservatiu (Catalan) are all derived from the Latin word præservativum. However,
in all of these languages except English, the predominant meaning of the word is
• Actual, which in English is usually a synonym of "real", has a different meaning in
other European languages, in which it means "current" or "up-to-date" (aktuell in
German, "actueel" in Dutch, actuel in French, actual in Spanish and European
Portuguese and atual in Brazilian Portuguese, aktualny in Polish) and has the
logical derivative as a verb aktualisieren (German), actualiser (French), actualizar
(Spanish and European Portuguese), "atualizar" (Brazilian Portuguese) and
aktualizacja (Polish) meaning "to make current" or "to update". "Actualise" in
English means "to make a reality of".
• Demand in English and demande in French or domanda in Italian are
representative of a particularly treacherous sort of false friend, in which – despite
a common origin – the words have differently shaded meanings. The French and
Italian homologues simply mean "request", not a forceful requirement.
• Magazine in English and магазин (magazin) in Russian (from the French
word magasin of the same meaning) mean "publication" and
"shop/store", respectively. In Polish (in addition to "publication" and
"shop/store" (which is now anachronous)), in Italian magazzino and Dutch
magazyn/magazijn also means "warehouse" (originating from a depot on
the back of a shop).
• Gift originally had the same meaning in English and German. In Old High
German and Middle High German Gift was the term for an "object that is
given". Although it had always included a euphemistic meaning for
"poison" ("being given"), over the following centuries it gradually suffered
a full semantic change to the sole present German meaning "poison". It is
still reflected in the German term for the English word dowry = Mitgift,
das Mitgegebene, "that which is given" (with the wedding).
• Cafeteria means "dining hall" in English, cafetería means "coffeehouse" in
Spanish, whereas cafetéria means "fringe benefit" in Hungarian.
• In certain cases, false friends evolved
separately in the different languages. Words
usually change by small shifts in pronunciation
accumulated over long periods and
sometimes converge by chance on the same
pronunciation or look despite having come
from different roots.
• For example, German Rat (pronounced with a long "a") (= "council") is cognate with English "read"
and German Rede (= "speech") (hence Æthelred the 'Unready' would not heed the speech of his
advisors), while English "rat" for the rodent has its German cognate Ratte.
• In another example, the word bra in the Swedish language means "good", as in "a good song." In
English, bra is short for the French brassière, which is an undergarment that supports the breasts.
The full English spelling, brassiere, is now a false friend in and of itself (the modern French term for
brassiere is soutien-gorge).
• In Swedish, the word rolig means "fun" (as in "It was a fun party"), while in the closely related
languages Danish and Norwegian it means "calm" (as in "he was calm despite all the furor around
him"). This can sometimes cause confusion: a Swede exclaiming "It'll be fun!" will have a Dane
thinking "How boring". Different alphabets or homoglyphs.
• Pseudo-anglicisms. These are new words formed from English morphemes independently from an
analogous English construct and with a different intended meaning.
• For example, in German: Oldtimer refers to an old car (or antique aircraft) rather than an old
person, while Handy refers to a mobile phone. Japanese is replete with pseudo-anglicisms, known
as wasei-eigo ("Japan-made English").
• similar words with a different meaning are also
quite common (e.g., Engl. become: German
bekommen means "to get", that is, "to come by",
not "to become", and is thus a false friend, which
could lead a German English learner to utter an
embarrassing sentence like: "I want to become a
• Another example is the word gift, which in
English means a "present" but in German and the
Scandinavian languages means "poison".
• French "Librairie" is the cognate of "Library" but refers to a
• Another Spanish/English false friend is "embarrassed/embarazado".
Where "embarrassed" in English means "ashamed", a similar-
sounding Spanish word, "embarazado", means "pregnant". The
correct translation of "embarrassed" is "avergonzado".
• The Latin root of concur has several meanings; "to meet (in battle)"
and "to meet (in agreement)". In many European languages, words
derived from this root take after the first meaning - English being a
notable exception (i.e. French concurrent is a "competitor" in
English). Additionally in some languages a "concourse" (Swedish
konkurs, Finnish konkurssi) takes its meaning from "concourse of
debtors", that is, it means bankruptcy.
• Both false friends and false cognates can cause
difficulty for students learning a foreign language,
particularly one that is related to their native
language, because students are likely to identify
the words wrongly due to linguistic interference.
• As false friends are a common problem for
language learners, teachers sometimes compile
lists of false friends as an aid for their students.
• One kind of false friend can occur when two
speakers speak different varieties of the same
language. Speakers of British English and
American English sometimes have this problem,
which was alluded to in George Bernard Shaw's
statement "England and America are two
countries divided by a common language". For
example, in the UK, to "table" a motion means to
place it on the agenda, while in the U.S. it means
exactly the opposite —"to remove it from
From the etymological point of view, false
friends can be created in several ways:
• Borrowing. If Language A borrowed a word
from Language B, then in one language the
word shifted in meaning or had more
meanings added, a native speaker of one
language will face a false friend when learning
• The term "false cognate" is sometimes used
incorrectly for false friend.
• False cognates are pairs of words in the same or
different languages that are similar in form and
meaning but have different roots. That is, they
appear to be, or are sometimes considered,
cognates, when in fact they are not.
• A "false cognate" is a word in one language that is
identical or similar to a word in another language,
but does not mean the same thing
• The basic kinship terms mama and papa
comprise a special case of false cognates (cf.
!Kung ba, Chinese bàba, Persian baba, and
French papa (all "dad"); or
• Navajo má, Chinese māma, Swahili mama,
Quechua mama, and English / Croatian
• Cf. Croatian: baba in various dialects, idioms
and local speches
German-English falsche Freunde - False Cognates
• A "false cognate" is a word in one language that is identical or similar to a word in
another language, but does not mean the same thing.
• For instance, both German and English have the word fast, but the German word
means "almost." This is a glossary of the many German-English "false friends" and
other words that can be confusing.
• But don't forget that there are also many genuine cognates shared by German and
• Technically and linguistically, cognate words have the same root or "ancestor," but
for our purposes we mean:
– any "false friend" that can confuse people learning a second language or translators
– because of its close resemblance to a word in their own language.
• http://german.about.com/library/blfalsef.htmEnglish - German
German-English falsche Freunde - False Cognates
German Words That Aren’t What They Seem
An annotated German-English Glossary of
Common False Cognates and Misleading Expressions
• Profound changes in the life and language (a
• the influence of English
• many expressions from English appear as loan
• in the field of
– popular culture (film, fashion and music in
– politics, particularly as result of new political order
and EU negotiations,
– the environment.
• the appearance of new false friends
• a seemingly inevitable by-product of this
transfer of words between any two languages
• Awareness of false cognates
• potential pitfalls for translators
Definition: Ivir (1980)
• »pairs of linguistic (not only lexical) units in
two different languages, which have
something in common, but are not exactly
• Golobič: »False friends are words which may
sound, look, and are spelled alike, but whose
semantic fields do not completely, or not at
• »look« with the words »spelled alike«: very
few Croatian/Slovene - English false friends
are in fact spelled in the same way (even
those that sound very similar)
• in most instances we are dealing with
similarity rather than alikeness.
• the semantic fields of pairs of words in two
languages rarely coincide completely
• Over the last decade in particular, the
centrality of the notion of equivalence to
translation studies has been strongly
challenged by linguists.
Snell-Hornby (1995, 17)
• the »treacherous illusion of equivalence that
typifies interlingual relationships«
• SH rejects the term as a basic concept in
translation theory because
– it is »imprecise and ill-defined,
– presents an illusion of symmetry between
languages which hardly exists beyond the level of
vague approximations and
– distorts the basic problems of translation«
Chesterman (1998, 27)
• traditional notions of equivalence as an »identity
assumption« misrepresent the translation process:
– »The relation of relevant similarity between source and
target text is not given in advance,
– but takes shape within the mind of the translator under a
number of constraints,
• the most important of which is the purpose of the translated text
• and the translating act«.
• the proper subject of contrastive studies of two
languages as being similarity rather than identity, as
the former term takes into account what is often now
referred to as the ‘fuzziness’ of language.
Alt. Definition: (Liman 2001)
• »the mis-translation of lexical items ... which
sound and/or look as if they should be equivalent
in this particular context (or even, in some cases,
in all contexts),
• but which in fact are not«
• The key element here from the translator’s point
of view is deception –
• the items may seem to be similar on the surface
(a ‘friend’ to the translator), but can not be used
in the same context (hence ‘false friend’).
• the key element, from the translator’s point of
• the items may seem to be similar on the
surface (a ‘friend’ to the translator), but
• can not be used in the same context (hence
TYPES OF FF
• absolute: they are false in every context
(examples include dres, fen, reklamacija and šef);
• contextual: they are false in some contexts, not
in others (most FP)
• pseudo false friends, in which the English
expression does not exist as a single term, only as
two or more separate English morphemes
(examples include automat, autostop, grafoskop,
hazarder, internacija, klientelizam, rekonvalescent
TLR – Caution!
• where contextual false friends are involved,
• the translator has to make a pragmatic choice,
based on the text type and immediate context
• Glossaries of FP in dictionaries (Cambridge
learners’ dicttionary; www sites)
EU English (derog. ‘Eurospeak’)
• Texts and glossaries generated by the EU
bureaucracy (eurocrats) often create new
English expressions and terminology and
• may even prefer new coinages to long-
• Examples from the EUROVOC project quoted
below are ‘cinematographic
industry/production’ (instead of ‘film
industry/production’) and ‘concentrated milk’
(instead of ‘condensed milk’). In such cases, it
is clearly up to the translator to decide
whether a particular text calls for the usual
expression or the EU term.
• English – Slovene
• Slovene – English
• Croatian ?!!
• Universality vs difference in FP analysis
• Notes on the new glossary
• The Slovene word is given first (in bold), followed
immediately, if applicable, by any specific
collocation or phrase (in italics), then an English
translation is provided, with comments or
examples where required. The meaning of the
English false friend (underlined) is explained
where necessary. Where two-word collocations
or longer phrases are involved, the ‘false friend’
element is the one listed as the head word.
• abstinenčen, abstinenčna kriza – withdrawal symptoms (e.g. from drugs).
• advokat (G) In BrE, in addition to the general word ‘lawyer’, there are also the more specific
‘barrister’, who represents clients in the higher courts, and ‘solicitor’, who prepares legal
documents (such as wills and contracts) and cases, and represents clients in the lower courts.
• agresivno, agresivno ribištvo – over-fishing.
• akcija (G) – sale, special offer. The former is used when goods are being sold cheaper for a specific
period, the latter where either goods or a service are being offered at a reduced price. The phrase
akcijska cena is translated by ‘special offer’. The terms in the glossary (drive, effort) are used in
collocations such as ‘recruitment drive’ and ‘aid effort’.
• aktiviran – realised, harnessed (e.g. in political contexts); aktivirane enote – mobilised forces (i.e.
• aktualen (G) – relevant (e.g. teachings or ideas). Issues and news items are usually referred to as
• akumulator (G) In BrE ‘(car) battery’ is the usual expression.
• andragogika – adult education. The term andragogy appears in Webster’s, though not in the Oxford
English Dictionary; the suggested term is used far more frequently, even within the education
profession. (See also entries on didaktik and pedagoški.)
• angina – tonsillitis, sore throat. The English word angina is normally associated with the painful
heart condition ‘angina pectoris’. Note that the pronunciation of the ‘g’ and ‘i’ sounds is different.
• animator – entertainment/activities organiser (e.g. in hotel). An animator works on animated
• arhivsko (G), arhivsko vino – vintage wine. The term ‘vintage’ is also used to refer to the year a wine was produced
(letnik). An archive is where historical records or documents are stored; the BBC also has a famous ‘sound archive’
• armaturen (G), armaturna plošča – dashboard (BrE). The standard British expression is not ‘fascia’ as indicated in
• aromat – flavouring (EU); aromatizirano vino – flavoured wine (EU).
• avans – deposit, down payment (AmE). An advance in the financial sense can be a loan or a payment made earlier
than intended: e.g. you may ask for an advance on your salary when you start a new job, or a writer may receive
an advance for his/her next novel. Note that ‘deposit’ or ‘down payment’ can also be used to translate ara (e.g.
when buying a flat).
• avto, avto šola – driving school.
• avtohton – indigenous (e.g. inhabitants, flora and fauna), native, original (e.g. inhabitants). The term
autochthonous can be found in the dictionary but is rarely used outside scientific texts (usually on botany, zoology
or geology). Slovenia’s avtohtoni narodnostni manjšini are probably best referred to as ‘national minorities’ or,
specifically, ‘Italian and Hungarian national minorities’; other minority groups can be referred to as ‘ethnic
minorities’ or ‘immigrant communities’.
• avtomat – vending machine (e.g. for snacks, drinks), slot machine; glasbeni avtomat – juke-box; bančni avtomat –
cash machine, cashpoint (BrE), cash dispenser, ATM (AmE, this abbreviation is short for ‘automated-teller
• avtor, avtor slike – painter; avtor filma – director; avtor glasbe – writer (of popular songs), composer; avtor
razstave – designer, compiler; avtor fotografije – photographer. An author is someone who writes books, stories,
essays or articles; it may also be used for the creator of a plan or proposal.
• bankomat – see avtomat.
• baterija – torch (BrE), flashlight (AmE). You put a battery in the torch. In
scientific or engineering contexts it may also be a ‘fuel cell’ (EU).
• biološki, biološke vede – life sciences (EU).
• blok (G), beležni blok – memo pad, note pad; kolegij blok – spiral binder.
• boks (G), garažni boks – parking space, parking bay (AmE); razstavni boks
– exhibition stand, exhibition space.
• centrala – (telephone) switchboard.
• cenzura – censorship, the censor’s office (usually in historical contexts).
Censure is a formal word for disapproval: a committee may censure
somebody or a parliament vote on a ‘censure motion’; or it may be said
that a country’s brutal behaviour has attracted ‘international censure’.
• civilen, civilno služenje vojaškega roka – alternative service (EU). The Civil
Service is made up of government departments and all those who work in
• čips (G) – (potato) crisps in BrE, (potato) chips in AmE.
• degradirati – deteriorate (e.g. environmental conditions). Degrade is also used in
reference to the environment, depending on the context; it has the additional
meaning of to decay or break down – in the phrase ‘biologically degradable’ it has
• didaktik – teacher, educator (AmE), educationalist (i.e. someone concerned with
the theory of teaching or education, BrE). The adjective didactic frequently has a
pejorative meaning in modern English: telling, rather than letting people find out
for themselves, or »inclined to teach or lecture others too much« (although it still
retains the meaning of ‘instructional’ or ‘teaching a moral lesson’). The noun
didact is not in the OED, but is in Webster’s and is defined as »a didactic person;
one over inclined to instruct others«. The noun didactics, a formal word, refers to
the art or science of teaching and corresponds to didaktika.
• diletant – amateur (e.g. painter). Dilettante is only used in the negative sense of
superficial or ‘dabbling’ in something, which is also present in Slovene.
• diskvalificiran – discredited (e.g. in politics). You can be disqualified from a race or
competition, but not in the moral sense used in Slovene.
• dispanzer – clinic (e.g. children’s clinic, women’s clinic, maternity clinic). A
dispensary is where medicines are prepared and given out in a hospital, i.e.
lekarna in Slovene.
• radiofuzija – broadcasting (EU).
• rampa (pogovorno) – barrier (e.g. at a railway crossing or an entrance to a camp); izstrelitvena
rampa – launch facility (EU). A ramp is a sloping surface providing access, such as a ‘wheelchair
ramp’. Note that the AmE ‘entrance ramp’ or ‘exit ramp’ from an ‘expressway’ are both described by
‘(motorway) slip road’ in BrE.
• realizacija (G), končna realizacija – fruition; the glossary also offers ‘fulfilment, execution,
performance, carrying out, implementation’.
• reanimacija – resuscitation (i.e. the process, or the room in a health centre).
• referat – paper (e.g. at a conference), office (e.g. office for student affairs).
• referent (G) – speaker, presenter (e.g. at a conference), clerk, official (e.g. in tax office).
• refleksiven – reflective. The term reflexive is used when describing an immediate reaction to
something; it is also used in grammar, as in ‘reflexive verb’.
• reformator – reformer.
• rektorat – Rectorship (i.e. the post), Rector’s office.
• rekvizit – prop (i.e. in the theatre), equipment (i.e. for a particular activity, such as skiing), device (in
the metaphorical sense); zvočni rekvizit – sound prop. The term requisite meaning ‘something
required for an activity’ is a rarely used formal expression.
• renomiran – celebrated, renowned (pseudo false friend?).
• replika – reply, response. The term replica refers to a copy of something, such as a statue.
• dispozicija – (written) proposal (e.g. for a university dissertation), outline. The term disposition has
the following main uses: tendency (e.g. he has a disposition to gamble’); outlook on life (e.g. ‘she
has a very sweet disposition’); a willingness to do something (from the expression ‘disposed to’);
arrangement or placing (e.g. of troops or buildings); the power to dispose of a thing, particularly
funds (used mainly in legal contexts).
• drama – theatre (i.e. the building), play (e.g. ‘a play in five acts’, ‘a radio play’). The term drama may
be used to refer to an individual theatrical work, but is more frequently used in a generic sense:
thus we talk about ‘Shakespeare’s plays’ (or one of them), but ‘Shakespearian drama’. The word is
not used to refer to a theatre building, whereas the meaning ‘exciting or distressing real life event’
is the same in both languages. A dramatik is more likely to be referred to as a ‘playwright’ than as a
• dramatika – playwriting (e.g. ‘one of the greatest achievements of modern playwriting’), drama.
The adjective dramatic is often used to describe real-life events (‘a dramatic rescue’), but may also
relate to theatre (‘dramatic monologue’, ‘dramatic irony’). The noun dramatics may refer to
activities connected with the theatre – in particular ‘amateur dramatics’.
• dres (G) – (football) strip, kit. Note that soccer players do not wear ‘uniforms’ as indicated in the
• ekološki, ekološka tržnica – organic market; ekološko gibanje – environmental group (e.g.
Greenpeace), environmental movement (i.e. in general); ekološki davek – environmental tax (EU);
ekološka linija – environment-friendly product (e.g. washing up liquid). Ecological is used in
collocations such as ‘ecological balance’ (ekološko ravnotežje) and ‘ecological disaster’ (ekološka
nesreča). Note that ‘organic farming’ is biokmetovanje (EU).
• ekonom – pressure cooker (i.e. in the kitchen).
• eksistenca – living (e.g. ‘He had to struggle / fight hard to make a living’), livelihood (e.g. ‘The
economic recession cost him his livelihood’), life (e.g. ‘She was then able to live a true artist’s life’).
The term existence has a narrower range of uses, the concept of ‘being’ the most common one; but
it is also used to refer to a life lived under difficult conditions: ‘In Victorian times, the poor in a
miserable existence’ or ‘The workers were fighting for a better existence’.
• elektrarna – power station, power plant (Am/EU); jedrska elektrarna – nuclear power station (BrE) /
plant (AmE); hidroelektrarna – hydo-electric power station.
• element – unit (e.g. kitchen, living room).
• emisija – issuing (i.e. of a currency). An emission is a release of gas or radiation into the
• evidenca (G) – In addition to ‘record’, the terms ‘documentation’ or ‘information’ are appropriate in
• fascikel – ring binder. A fascicle is defined in Webster’s as ‘a section of a book or set of books being
published in instalments as separate pamphlets or volumes’.
• finomehanika – precision engineering (EU).
• fitnes (fitness), iti na fitnes – go to the gym, go for a workout; fitnes oprema – exercise equipment.
Note that we do talk about fitness (or exercise) classes or say that we are working out in order to
improve our fitness (kondicija).
• folija – transparency, OHP slide (an OHP is an overhead projector, which in Slovene is a grafoskop);
pridelava pod folijo – cultivation under plastic (EU).
• folkloren – folk (e.g. dance, art, song). The noun folklore refers to traditional beliefs, customs and
stories of a people.
• fonolaboratorij – language lab/laboratory.
• fonoteka – record library (EU).
• forsirati – push (i.e. give extra support and encouragement to). Most uses of the verb force involve
compulsion, overcoming resistance, or the use of force; the use nearest in meaning to the Slovene
term is ‘to cause (plants, fruits, etc.) to grow or mature at an increased rate by artificial means’ e.g.
to force rhubarb.
• fotogeničen (G) Contrary to what is stated, the adjective photogenic is very commonly used in
• frekvenca – attendance (e.g. at university), attendance record, signature (i.e. confirming
attendance). The term frequency is not used in any formal way in connection with attendance.
• gaziran (G) The most frequent way of describing gazirana voda in both written and spoken English
is now ‘sparkling water’. The word ‘fizzy’ is a common. colloquial use and in EU texts the word
‘aerated’ is used. Note that negazirana voda is ‘still (mineral) water’.
• generalka – dress rehearsal (e.g. in theatre; also used in the metaphorical sense). The Slovene term
is also used to refer to a detailed relief map: in BrE this is known as an ‘Ordnance Survey map’.
• globalen – general, broad, overall, total. The term global is used in such collocations as ‘global
warming’ (segrevanje Zemlje) where the whole world is involved; it also collocates with
‘plan/idea/view’ to show that every possible aspect is being considered, but this use seems far less
frequent than the Slovene term.
• gravitacija – gravity. This term is much more frequent in everyday use than is gravitation.
• habilitacija – ‘being granted / gaining an academic title’ (there is no short expression for this).
Habilitation has the sense of to make fit for a purpose, but is used very infrequently, unlike
‘rehabilitation’, which is the process by which someone who has been ill, in prison, or suffering
from addiction is prepared for a normal life, or in which someone’s good name (e.g. in politics) is
• hazarder – risk-taker. The noun hazard means ‘danger’ (a common collocation is ‘fire hazard’) and
the verb means either ‘to put someone or something in a dangerous situation’ or ‘to guess’ (a
common phrase is ‘hazard a guess’).
• indeks – (student) record book, registration book. Note that these documents are not used in the British education system, so these translations
• infarkt (G), prometni infarkt – (traffic) gridlock.
• informatika – information technology / IT (e.g. IT manager/director, IT course, the IT industry); informatika v medicini – medical computing (EU).
According to the OED, the term informatics entered English only in 1967 as a translation of the Russian ‘informatika’; ‘information technology’,
frequently shortened to ‘IT’, is the usual term for the theory and practice of using computers to store and process information.
• informativen – provisional (e.g. dates, arrangements, information), for information only; informativni dan – open day (which can also be dan odprtih
vrat); informativna cena – guide price. The adjective informative means ‘providing useful information’.
• inskripcija – registration (e.g. at university), signature (i.e. confirming a student has begun to attend lectures). An inscription is either a piece of text
carved on stone or in metal (e.g. on a gravestone or a monument, a coin or a medal), or it is a hand-written message on a photograph or at the front
of a book.
• inteligenca – the intellectual class, the intelligentsia, intellectual circles. Intelligence refers only to the abstract quality.
• intenzivno, intenzivno degradirati – seriously deteriorate; intenzivno sodelovati – play an active part in (e.g. at a conference – to give a paper
• internacija – internment, detention; poslati v internacijo – intern, place in detention, detain (without trial). Note that we refer to an ‘internment
camp’, but to a ‘detention centre’; those involved are referred to as ‘internees’ or ‘detainees’.
• internatski, internatska šola – boarding school (EU).
• intriganten – conspiratorial (e.g. the plot of a film or a story), complex. If you say something is intriguing it means it arouses your interest and
curiosity. The noun intrigue, however, is used to refer to ‘the making of secret plans to harm or deceive others’, as in such collocations as ‘political
• invalid (G) The term ‘handicapped’ is widely rejected now because of its negative connotations (with begging) and invalidi in general are now
referred to as ‘the disabled’. Moreover, an invalid is not necessarily someone who is disabled: the term can also refer to someone who is bed-ridden
and in need of care, or simply someone who is not able to work, because of illness.
• investicijski, investicijske dobrine – capital goods (i.e. machines and tools used in the production of other goods, EU).
• juta – sacking, sackcloth (i.e. the rough material used for making sacks etc; also referred to more technically as ‘burlap’ or ‘gunny’). Jute refers only to
the plant from which the fibre for the cloth comes.
• kabina – booth (e.g. interpreter’s), changing room (e.g. in clothes shop), (telephone) kiosk; kabina dvigala – lift. A
cabin may be a small wooden dwelling, the part of the plane where passengers sit, a room on a ship, or a
passenger space on a cable car.
• kabinet – office (e.g. at the Faculty of Arts), small room, study (e.g. in a flat); trim kabinet – exercise room, gym.
The use of cabinet to describe a small room is listed as obsolete in Webster’s. Among the many uses of the word,
the most common are for a piece of furniture with drawers and/or cupboards, and for a political council of senior
• kader (G) The term ‘staff’ is a frequent translation, in addition to ‘personnel’. A filmski kader is a ‘shot’ (i.e. a
sequence of pictures; not to be confused with ‘shoot’, which is the process of filming the whole film in a studio
and/or on location).
• kancerogen – carcinogenic (i.e. likely to cause cancer; the noun is ‘carcinogen’).
• kapitalski, kapitalski dobiček – investment income (EU).
• karikatura – cartoon (e.g. in a newspaper). A caricature is a drawing or description of a person that exaggerates
their appearance; it has no particular connection with the press. The person who draws cartoons for the press is a
• karton (G), rdeči karton – red card (i.e. in football, when a player is sent off); zdravstveni karton – health record/s.
• kasetofon – cassette player.
• katastrofa – disaster (e.g. natural disaster, man-made disaster, nuclear disaster). The term catastrophe is less
frequent in such contexts.
• klasičen – traditional, usual; klasična sredstva – traditional channels (e.g. in marketing); klasično ribištvo –
traditional fishing (EU); klasičen problem pomanjkanja kadrov – the usual problem of shortage of staff. The term
classical is most often used in connection with music, with ancient Greece or Rome, or with Greek or Latin; it also
has the meaning of ‘traditional in style, form or content’ but this usage is less widely used than the Slovene term.
• klasifikacija, klasifikacija zgodovinskih spomenikov – listing of historical buildings and monuments.
• klientelizem – patronage (often in the collocation ‘political patronage’).
• klubski, klubska mizica – coffee table.
• koketirati – flirt (with); koketiranje – flirting, flirtation (with). The verb coquette is archaic.
• kolega (G) The meaning of this term is far wider than indicated in the glossary. Thus it may be ‘work
mate’ (less formal than colleague), ‘associate’ (someone you co-operate with in some way), ‘fellow
participant’ (e.g. at a conference) ‘school friend/mate’, ‘college friend/mate’ or ‘fellow student’.
Note that ‘chum’ (given in the glossary) would now be considered very old-fashioned.
• kolektor, sončni kolektor – solar panel.
• komanditen, komanditna družba – limited partnership (EU), special partnership.
• komercialen, komercialni kredit – trade credit (EU); komercialna prireditev – trade event (EU);
komercialne informacije – trade information (EU). Note that in other collocations (policy,
regulations, relations) ‘trade’ is trgovinski.
• koncentrat, paradižnikov koncentrat – tomato puree, tomato paste; izdelek iz koncentrata –
reconstituted product (EU).
• koncept – idea, plan, approach, strategy. Concept is usually reserved for more abstract matters;
Slovene politicians, for example, frequently use the word koncept, where their British counterparts
would use one of the suggested terms (e.g. nova ministrica ima pravi koncept – the new minister
has the right approach).
• konfesionalen, konfesionalna družba – non-secular state (EU). Note that a ‘secular state’ is
• konkreten (G) – specific (e.g. example). The adjective concrete is not as common as is claimed in
the glossary. In contexts such as the following ‘specific’ would be used: Seveda ne gre za kakšno
konkretno poroko ampak...
• konstruirati – design, design and build (e.g. new type of machine or device).
• kontrabas – double bass. The term contrabass exists but is infrequently used.
• kontrola (G) In a medical context, this can also be a ‘check-up’.
• konzervans – preservative (e.g. in food).
• konzerviran – preserved (e.g. food product). Note that a konzerva (G) is a ‘tin’ (BrE) or ‘can’ (AmE).
• kostim – suit (for women). The term costume is used when referring to what actors wear, to clothes
worn during a particular historical period or in a particular country, to fancy dress and as a short
form for ‘swimming costume’. In colloquial English the word ‘outfit’ is used to refer to a set of
• kriminalist – detective, police (officer). Note that the now common expression organiziran kriminal
is translated by 'organised crime'.
• kronološki, kronološko poročilo – historical account (EU).
• kura, shujševalna kura – diet.
• kurir (G) The term courier is now widely used to refer to all those (i.e. not only those in diplomatic
service) who deliver letters and packages by motorbike, bike or van (e.g. kurirska služba – courier
service) and is therefore not usually a false friend.
• leasing (lizing) – hire purchase (BrE), buy on credit (e.g. when buying a car – dealers may offer
‘interest free’ or ‘low interest’ credit deals/arrangements). If you lease a car (as many companies
do) you can use it for a fixed period of time in return for regular payments; the term does not refer
to buying on credit terms. Note that kredit (G) if obtained from a bank is called a loan (also
posojilo); you buy something ‘on credit’ at a showroom, shop or elsewhere by signing a credit
agreement or by using a credit card.
• lektorat – course (e.g. Spanish course, taking place within a different language department).
• lifting – face lift. The Slovene term also seems to be used in the press to refer to other kinds of
• linč – trial by media (e.g. when someone is judged and ‘found guilty’ in the press). If someone is
lynched they are actually killed by a group of others, in a violent and unjust way.
• list – sheet (e.g. of paper, page (e.g. in a book), leaf (i.e. of a tree); Uradni list – Official Gazette,
Official Journal (EU); poročni list – marriage certificate; vmesni list – divider (e.g. in ring binder – see
mapa); morski list – sole; listek – note, cloakroom ticket. In idioms such as ‘turn over a new leaf’
and ‘take a leaf out of someone’s book’ the word ‘leaf’ means ‘page’; we also talk about ‘leafing’
through a book (turning the pages quickly).
• magnetofon – tape recorder (see kasetefon).
• maneken(ka) – male model, model. The word mannequin used to be used for
someone who modelled clothes, but is usually restricted now to artificial models in
window displays – and even there the word ‘dummy’ is more common.
• mapa – folder; prospekt mapa – ring binder; podložna mapa – clipboard; viseča
mapa – suspension file, hanging file; mapa s spiralo – spring binder; mapa z žepki
– document folder.
• masa (G), denarna masa – money supply (EU); masa za čevapčiče – mince,
mincemeat (BrE), hamburger meat (AmE). Note that ‘mincemeat’ is also used to
describe the sticky chopped dried fruit mixture which is used to make mince pies
• maska – make-up (e.g. in a film).
• masker(ka) – make-up artist.
• mašina (pogovorno) – (car) engine, car, motor (BrE, colloquial). The diminutive
mašinca may have the same meaning, but is also used to refer to ‘clippers’ in the
hairdresser’s (as well as ‘machine gun’).
• maksimalen – maximum. The term maximal is rarely used (but see note on minimalen).
• medij – publication (i.e. when referring to one newspaper or review), platform (e.g. for expressing one’s
opinions). The media are the press, TV and radio in general; the term is not used to refer to an individual entity
within the media.
• melona – bowler (hat).
• mikrob – germ (e.g. in ad for throat tablets), bug (AmE, colloquial). The term microbe is used only in scientific
• minimalen – minimum; minimalna zaloga – minimum stock (EU). The term minimal means very small in quantity,
value or degree; it used in contexts such as ‘he achieved what he could, but at minimal cost to himself’.
• mit – legend. The terms myth and ‘legend’ are not interchangeable: a connotation of the former in many contexts
is ‘something that is not true’. Thus the phrase France Prešeren je mit would be translated 'France Prešeren is a
legend'; in the same way, the recent headline Drnovšek postaja mitološka politična figura would be translated
using the adjective 'legendary'.
• model – mould (e.g. for a cake or dessert), shape, style (e.g. of shoe; however, we talk about a new model when
referring to cars).
• monitor, monitor za opazovanje – monitoring device.
• morala – morality, ethic (e.g. a writer’s usual approach to morality). The moral of a story is what it is trying to
teach us. The morale of a team or a group of people is whether they are feeling positive (‘morale is high’) or
negative (‘morale is low’).
• motiv – theme, image. The term motif seems to be used much less frequently than its Slovene counterpart; the
two alternatives offered often occur with the adjective ‘recurring’.
• nekvalificiran, nekvalificiran delavec – unskilled worker (EU). In English you may be unqualified for
a particular position (even one you hold), but the adjective is not used generically.
• nepakiran, nepakirano blago – bulk product (EU).
• neprofitno, neprofitno stanovanje – low-rent housing, subsidised housing.
• nostrifikacija – recognition (i.e. of a degree or academic qualification). The term nostrification
appears in the Oxford English Dictionary and under ‘nostrificate’ (which is marked as »very rare«)
there is the following: »Of Austrian universities: to admit (foreign degrees) to the same status as
the native ones«.
• novela – amendment (i.e. to an existing law), amending act. A novella could be defined as a long
short story or a short novel.
• obdukcija – autopsy, post-mortem (pseudo false friend?).
• old timer – vintage car. An old timer in AmE refers to an elderly man.
• optik – optician. The adjective optic means ‘pertaining to the eye or sight’; the noun is rarely used
but can refer to the eye or to a lens of an optical instrument.
• opus – body of work (e.g. a composer’s). Opus refers to an individual musical, or perhaps literary,
• ordinacija – surgery (e.g. dental surgery, doctor’s surgery, BrE), treatment room (e.g. in a health
centre), office (AmE). Ordination refers to the process of becoming a member of the clergy.
• orientacijski – approximate (e.g. figures, price). Orientation is the process of establishing your
position or situation.
• paket – package (holiday).
• paketen, paketna dostava – parcel delivery.
• parceliranje – dividing up of land (EU). Note that a parcela (G) is a ‘plot of land’ or ‘a lot’ (mainly AmE, as in ‘parking lot’).
• park – garden (e.g. next to a block of flats), fleet (e.g. of vehicles, cars, aeroplanes, ships); botanični park – botanical garden; lunapark – fairground;
rekreacijski park – leisure park (EU). English park corresponds to the Slovene term in such contexts as Tivoli Park.
• pedagoški (G) In addition to ‘education(al)’, the translation ‘teaching’ also applies in some contexts (e.g. pedagoški poklic – teaching profession;
pedagoška praksa – teaching practice).
• pendant – obverse, mirror image (e.g. in art or literature, when two things are in opposition to each other; another meaning, according to the SSKJ, is
‘complement to’). A pendant is an ornament on a chain you wear round your neck.
• permanenten, permanentno izobraževanje – lifelong learning, adult education, continuing education. The first of these is now preferred in BrE.
• perspektiva (G). In addition to ‘prospect’, the term ‘a/the future’ is appropriate in certain contexts (e.g. perspektive podjetja so velike – the company
has a great future).The expression brez perspektive can be translated by ‘hopeless’.
• petarda – banger (BrE), firecracker (AmE). There is a term petard with this meaning, but is rarely used. The idiom ‘hoist with/by their own petard’
means that someone is harmed by the result of their own plan.
• pirotehnični, pirotehnična delavnica – firework manufacturer’s. Pyrotechnics is used most often in the metaphorical sense of ‘a brilliant display’ (e.g.
• plakat (G) As well as ‘poster’ this can also be ‘notice’ (with text only) or ‘bill’ (AmE). In colloquial Slovene, a jumbo plakat refers to ‘(advertising)
hoarding’ (BrE) or ‘billboard’ (AmE). A placard is what demonstrators carry (see transparent, below).
• plan, veliki plan – close up (e.g. in a film); prvi plan – foreground; drugi plan – middle ground; tretji plan – background.
• polihistor – polymath. The term polyhistor with the same meaning is rarely used; the given term is the usual one.
• politoligija – political science, political theory.
• potencial – capability (usually plural, as in contexts such as ‘the capabilities of the armed forces’, i.e. what a person or thing is capable of). Note that
potential, which is usually an uncountable noun, either implies possibility, that something may happen, as in ‘The potential for error is great’, or has a
similar meaning to the noun ‘promise’: for example, ‘As an artist, she shows a lot of potential’.
• praksa, sodna praksa – case law (i.e. law established by judicial decisions in particular cases, EU).
• preservativ – condom. Preservatives are added to food or wood to prevent decay.
• problem – challenge (e.g. problemi sodobne arhitekture – the challenges of contemporary architecture; e.g. enega od največjih problemov sodobnega
alpinizma – one of the greatest challenges of contemporary Alpinism). Is there a problem with the way problem is used in contemporary Slovene
writing? A problem is either something that causes difficulties for people (the problem of unemployment) or a puzzle that has to be solved (e.g. in
• problematika – issue (e.g. problematika invalidov – the issue of the disabled; note that ‘issue’ is also a frequent translation for
vprašanje), problem. The noun problematic is used only in academic texts on sociology; the adjective is more widely used.
• proces, sodni proces – trial. A process in English is also, of course, postopek in Slovene. Legal ‘proceedings’ are legal action taken against
• profesor (G). In BrE someone who teaches at a university or college is called a ‘lecturer’, whilst a professor is a senior member of the teaching staff
(often the head of department).
• program – range (e.g. of goods in a shop), selection; otroški program – range of children’s clothes/toys; kozmetični program – range of cosmetics;
lesni program – range of (wooden) furniture; zamrznjen program – frozen food range; darilni program – gift selection. Note that there is a distinction
in BrE between ‘program’ (for computers) and ‘programme’ (all other uses of the word), which is not made in AmE; also that (računalniški) program
may be translated by ‘(computer) software’, as well as ‘program’, depending on the context.
• projekt (G) This term seems to be used for a wide range of activities in Slovene, including historical contexts, where project would not be used:
projekt Vatikanski sporazum – attempts at an agreement with the Vatican; projekt novega slovenskega denarja – the design/production of new
Slovene money (in 1991); projekt izdajanja slovenskega časopisa in literarnih del – the publication of a Slovene newspaper and literary works (by
Prešeren and Smole).
• propaganda – publicity material, advertising. Propaganda usually has political connotations in English; it is also used in a pejorative sense to describe
bad or harmful publicity (rumours, gossip, etc.) that has been deliberately spread.
• prospekt – brochure (e.g. from a travel agent). The term prospectus has a similar meaning, but is used in a more limited way – mainly by universities
and by companies trying to attract investors. The word prospect has the meaning ‘possibility’.
• protokolaren – diplomatic (e.g. statement, formalities); protokolarni objekti – state/official reception facilities. The term protocol is less frequent
than its Slovene counterpart and does not occur as an adjective. It refers to a system of rules for correct behaviour (especially in diplomacy) or to a
written record of an agreement (or draft agreement) between countries; in AmE it can also refer to a course of medical treatment.
• psihološki, psihološka priprava – mental preparations (e.g. preparing yourself for a test or interview).
• reprezentativen, reprezentativna hiša – political residence.
• repromaterial – intermediate goods (EU), producer goods (i.e. raw materials,
machinery, etc. used in producing consumer goods).
• revizija – audit (e.g. financial audit); revizija poslovodenja – management audit
(EU). Revision is an appropriate translation when referring to changing a document
or agreement, although the process of examining it before changes are made
would be referred to as a ‘review’. In BrE, ‘revision’ also refers to preparation for
an examination (see študirati).
• revizor – auditor. The word reviser has no specific use beyond ‘someone who
revises / is revising’ (i.e. amending or altering).
• rezervat – nature reserve, refuge (e.g. wildlife refuge); rezervat ptic – bird
sanctuary. A reservation is an area of land set aside for a particular ethnic group; in
the USA, these used to be called ‘Indian reservations’, but the term ‘Indian’ has
now been replaced by ‘Native American’.
• rezerva – substitute (e.g. in a sports team); jemati z reservo – treat with caution,
take with a pinch of salt; državne rezerve – buffer stock (EU).
• ritem, ritem pogajanja – the pace of negotiations; ritem dela – rate of work (EU).
• salon (G), pohištveni salon – furniture showroom; avto salon – car showroom. Note that 'showroom' is not only AmE as indicated in the glossary.
• sankcija, kazenska sankcija – penalty (EU).
• sekundarij – ward doctor (i.e. in a hospital).
• semafor – traffic light. A semaphore is a signalling system, usually employing flags.
• serijski – mass-produced (e.g. goods), manufactured (e.g. furniture); serijska izdelava – mass-production. The term serial is used in ‘serial number’,
‘television serial’ and ‘serial killer’; it does not mean (as the Slovene term does) the opposite of ‘hand made’.
• serviser – service engineer (e.g. for photocopier, motorbike; note that for cars the term is ‘mechanic’). The term servicer can be found in the
dictionary, but is rarely used.
• sestra – nurse. In BrE a sister is in charge of a hospital ward – a head nurse.
• shema – diagram (e.g. of the human skeleton or blood circulation, sometimes referred to as a ‘schematic’), schedule or time table (e.g. of a
celebratory event); programska shema (TV) – programme schedule; shema prog Mestnega potniškega prometa v Ljubljani – map of Ljubljana bus
routes. The formal word schema with the meaning ‘diagram, plan, or underlying pattern’ is rarely used outside academic texts. The word scheme
appears in political contexts such as ‘a scheme to combat unemployment’ and also collocates with words such as: ‘savings’, ‘pension’ and ‘money-
• signalizacija, prometna signalizacija – traffic signs (EU). The term signalization is used in Pavlovian psychology when describing how the response to a
signal can become the same as the response to the original stimulus.
• sistemski, sistemski zakon – organic law (EU).
• socialna država – welfare state (i.e. a state in which the government provides free health care and education, as well unemployment benefit,
pensions, etc.). Note that the term ‘welfare’ in America refers to the money received from the state (a person is said to be ‘on welfare’); in Britain,
this is usually called ‘social security’.
• sorta – variety (e.g. of fruit); sorta trte – variety of grape.
• specifika – (special) characteristics (e.g. specifika našega kmetijstva – the special characteristics of our agriculture). Specific with this kind of meaning
is an adjective only; the noun usually occurs in the plural form, as in the phrase ‘let’s get down to specifics’, and means ‘(relevant) details’.
• stimulacija – bonus (e.g. paid to employees with extra responsibility).
• stimulirati – reward (e.g. employees), promote (e.g. an action or an idea).
• stripar – cartoonist. (Note that strip may be translated by ‘comic strip’ in BrE.)
• struktura – profile (e.g. of the population, residents, students); struktura stroškov – cost breakdown.
• subjekt – protagonist, actor (i.e. as opposed to passive observer), player (e.g. ‘political player’); poslovni subjekt –
• super – great (also as an exclamation); super ponudba – (extra) special offer; super ugodno – special low price.
• suveren – independent, supreme (e.g. work of art or artist); suveren oblikovalec jezika – masterful user of the
language; suveren organizator – supreme organisor. The use of sovereign to mean 'supreme' or 'most notable' is
obsolete; the term most frequently collocates with 'state' (country) or 'power'.
• suverenost, obrtniška suverenost – supreme craftsmanship.
• šofer – driver (e.g. of a bus or lorry (BrE) / truck (AmE)). A chauffer is employed to drive a private car or limousine;
those employed to drive public officials are called ‘drivers’.
• študijski, študijsko leto – academic year; študijski dopust – a sabbatical (‘study leave’ is also used, though more
commonly for students; teachers and academic staff usually ‘go on / take a sabbatical’), training leave (for those in
• študirati – revise (i.e. for an exam, BrE), read (e.g. She’s reading Maths at Cambridge; formal BrE), learn (e.g. a
particular topic, or a role in a play), think about (e.g. dolgo sta študirala, preden sta se odločila – they thought
about it for a long time before deciding). Other frequent uses of the verb will be translated by study.
• taksa, uvozna taksa – import levy (EU).
• tarifa – (list of) charges (e.g. postal charges, telephone charges, bank charges), (list of) rates (e.g. legal rates), price list; tarifa zračnega prevoza – air
freight rate (EU). A tariff is a list of duties imposed on imports or exports; it may also be used for a table of charges for transport or public services;
within the EU there is a ‘support tariff’ (podporna tarifa).
• tehnik – technician (e.g. laboratory, computer, construction); administrativni tehnik – secretary, clerk, administrative assistant; ekonomski tehnik –
clerk, financial/accounts assistant, sales person/representative; glasbeni tehnik – (studio/sound) engineer; komercialni tehnik – sales
person/representative; strojni tehnik – machinist, (machine) operator, engineer (e.g. heating engineer); tekstilni tehnik – machinist, textile worker;
upravni tehnik – legal secretary/clerk; zdravstveni tehnik – male nurse. (Note that a wide range of jobs are advertised under these headings and that
the job titles vary accordingly.) The term technic, meaning a technique or technicality, is used in AmE but is rare; the plural noun ‘technics’, applying
especially to the study of the mechanical or industrial arts, is more common.
• tehnika – technology (e.g. zastarela tehnika – outdated technology, e.g. najsodobnejša tehnika – the latest technology); bela tehnika – white goods
(e.g. kitchen appliances, fridge, washer, cooker, etc.); elektrotehnika – electrical engineering (EU). The term technique would be used when referring
to tehnika in the arts (i.e. a way of doing something or carrying out a process).
• televizija – television channel. Although we can translate nacionalna televizija with ‘national television’, a phrase such as na drugih televizijah can
only be translated by ‘other television channels’. Other uses of the term correspond to ‘television’ or ‘TV’ (or ‘telly’ in colloquial BrE).
• tematika – theme (e.g. of a work of art or literature). Thematic is an adjective used in collocations such as ‘thematic approach’.
• tendenca – trend (e.g. a statistical trend). A tendency is either something worrying or unpleasant that keeps happening or a part of your character
that makes you behave in a particular way; it is not used when discussing figures or statistics.
• terenski (G), terenski studio – mobile studio (i.e. for television).
• termin – date, period (i.e. from… to…); zadnji termin – final date (i.e. last opportunity).
• termofor – hot-water bottle (pseudo false friend?).
• test – questionnaire (e.g. in a magazine). Test in the sense of a series of questions is used only in the classroom environment.
• trak – ribbon (e.g. hair ribbon, typewriter ribbon), band (e.g. hatband, headband, armband), strip (e.g. of paper, of material, protective strip), tape
(cut the tape/ribbon at an official opening); lepilni/samolepilni trak – adhesive strip/tape; merilni trak – tape measure; žalni trak – black armband;
izolirni trak – (electrical) insulating tape; tekoči trak – conveyor belt, production line. The main, non-idiomatic uses of track are ‘railway track’, path
(e.g. ‘mountain track’), sports track (e.g. for athletics, cycling, car racing, horse racing, greyhound racing) and a song or piece of music on a CD or
• transparent (G) – placard (i.e. carried by someone at a demonstration), banner.
• trenirka – tracksuit.
• tribuna – stand. A tribune is a raised platform, pulpit, or seating area, particularly in a church; the term is not associated with sports stadia.
• trim – exercise; trim steza – exercise path, jogging path; trim kabinet – exercise room, gym. If you wish to stay trim you want to keep yourself slim
and fit. The verb is commonly used in the sense of ‘cut small amounts off’: for example, you can trim someone’s hair, a hedge, or a budget.
• univerzalen – general (e.g. factors, effects, results). The term universal
applies in all cases, to every part of the world or universe, or to a whole
group or society; the Slovene term seems to be used more widely or
loosely (similarly to globalen).
• urbanizem – town planning (EU), city planning (AmE). The term urbanism
is used to refer to city life and also to planning, but the latter less
frequently than the given terms. Note that in EU texts, urbanist is
translated by ‘town-planning profession’ and urbanistični predpisi by
• uta, pasja uta – (dog) kennel. A hut (e.g. in a garden) is used by people.
• varirati – fluctuate (e.g. statistics, trends). The Slovene term is sometimes
used in journalistic reports, such as on the state of the economy, where
vary would not be used.
• vizitka – business card (i.e. with name, job title, contact details), greetings
card (e.g. birthday card, get well card, congratulations). Visiting cards (or
‘calling cards’) were frequently used in the past among the middle and
upper classes when making a social call or sending a gift.
Separating the True from the False Friends:
English – Italian - Croatian
• There will always be instances where English
speakers use the wrong Italian/Croatian word,
leading to embarrassment and laughter, but
those are usually the lessons that stick.
Italian – English false friends
• Recognizing Cognates
Italian words that look like English words and have similar meanings are called cognates or
parole simili (TRUE PAIRS) There are only minor differences in spelling. Some examples are:
ITALIAN ENGLISH CROATIAN
dizionario— Dictionary -
farmacia— Pharmacy -
intelligente— Intelligent Inteligentan
mercato market Market?
museo— Museum Muzej
necessario— Necessary -
oceano— Ocean Ocean
onesto— Honest -
stazione— Station Stanica?
teatro— theater Teatar
I E C
camera Room (NOT a device for Dial. Kamara
candido clean, spotless, innocent -
confetti confetti —sugar-coated Konfeti
almonds presented at
weddings (NOT small
pieces or streamers of
colored paper that are
crudo crudo —uncooked (NOT -
fastidio fastidio —annoyance, Dial. Faštidij
boredom (NOT fastidious)
genitori genitori —parents (NOT -
libreria libreria —bookstore (NOT -
Italian Verb Cognates
I E C
accompagnare to accompany -
creare to create Kreirati
Dividere to divide -
studiare to study Studirati
telefonare To telephone telefonirati
Italian Verb False Cognates
assistere—to be present assistere—to be present asistirati—to help
(NOT to assist) (NOT to assist)
attendere—to wait for attendere—to wait for -
(NOT to attend to) (NOT to attend to)
confrontare—to compare confrontare—to compare konfrontirati
(NOT to confront) (NOT to confront)
intendere—to understand, intendere—to understand, intencija
hear, want (NOT to intend hear, want (NOT to intend
tastare—to touch, to feel tastare—to touch, to feel tastirati
(NOT to taste) (NOT to taste)
• Englkish – German - Croatian
False friends: German - English /
English - German
1. German > Different Genders
2. German > Confusing Word Pairs
3. German > Different Meanings in English
4. English > Different Meanings in German
5. Singular/Plural > Different in German and
6. Homophones > Homophones in German
7. German > German Words to Avoid
Genuine / True Cognates: A
Words that are identical or similar in English and German
E G C
accept Akzeptieren* Akceptirati
accent r Akzent* Akcent
accord r (diff.) Akkord Akord? – dogovor
accordian s Akkordeon -
acrobat r Akrobat Akrobat
act r - Caution! Akt (theat.) Akt?
Also a false
active Aktiv Aktivan
acute akut Akutan
adapter r Adapter Adapter
address e Adresse adresa
Homophones in German -
Homophone im Deutschen
• a word that sounds the same as another word,
but is spelled differently.
• English examples include be/bee, him/hymn,
or/oar, and to/too/two.
• German has far fewer homophones than
English and many other languages, but it has
some well worth knowing about.
• CRO? vrijeme, pod, ...
• Bund federation (der) - bunt colorful
• Chor choir, chorus (der) - Korps corps (das)
• das the, that - dass that (conj.)
• fällt falls (v., fallen) - Feld field (das)
• Gäste guests - Geste gesture (die)
• hasst hate/hates (v., hassen) - hast (you) have (v., haben)
• Heer army (das) - her from
• isst eats (v., essen) - ist is (v., sein)
• konnten could (v., können) - Konten accounts (pl. of 'das Konto')
• laichen spawn (v.) - Leichen corpses (pl. of 'die Leiche')
• Leere emptiness (die) - Lehre teaching, apprenticeship, lesson (die)
• man one, you, they (pron.) - Mann man (der)
• Meer sea (das) - mehr more
• nahmen took (v., nehmen) - Namen name(s) (der)
• Rad wheel (das) - Rat advice, council (der)
• rein pure, clean - Rhein Rhine (der)
• seid are (v., sein) - seit since
• Tod death (der) - tot dead
• viel much - fiel fell (v., fallen)
Denglisch: When Languages Collide
Deutsch + Englisch = Denglisch (Denglish)
• Some people claim that the words above all mean the
same thing, but they don't.
• Even the term "Denglisch" alone has several different
meanings. Since the word "Denglis(c)h" is not found in
German dictionaries (even recent ones), and
• "Neudeutsch" is vaguely defined as "die deutsche
Sprache der neueren Zeit" ("the German language of
more recent times"), it can be difficult to come up with
a good definition.
• But here are five different definitions for Denglisch (or
• Denglisch 1: The use of English words in German, with an attempt to incorporate
them into German grammar. Examples: downloaden - ich habe den File
gedownloadet/downgeloadet. - Heute haben wir ein Meeting mit den
• Denglisch 2: The (excessive) use of English words, phrases, or slogans in German
advertising. Example: A recent German magazine ad for the German airline
Lufthansa prominently displays the slogan: "There's no better way to fly."
• Denglisch 3: The (bad) influences of English spelling and punctuation on German
spelling and punctuation. One pervasive example: The incorrect use of an
apostrophe in German possessive forms, as in Karl's Schnellimbiss. This common
error can be seen even on signs and painted on the side of trucks. It is even seen
for plurals ending in s. Another example is a growing tendency to drop the hyphen
(English-style) in German compound words: Karl Marx Straße vs Karl-Marx-Straße.
• Denglisch 4: The mixing of English and German vocabulary (in sentences) by
English-speaking expats whose German skills are weak.
• Denglisch 5: The coining of faux English words that are either not found in English
at all or are used with a different meaning than in German. Examples: der
Dressman (male model), der Smoking (tuxedo), der Talkmaster (talk show host).
die Aircondition air conditioning die Air condition !!?
der Beamer digital/LCD projector (LCD)
video projector der Video-Projektor
checken to understand, catch on, "get it" Čekirati (=make sure)
die City downtown, city center die -
der Comic comic strip der Bilderstreifen -
die Cranberry cranberry -
(Vaccinium macrocarpon) die
(Vaccinium vitis-ideae) *There actually is
a real difference between these two
terms. Preiselbeeren are larger and have a
somewhat different taste than
der Dealer (drug) dealer der Diler
absolvieren to complete a course or Apslovirati
exam | absolve = lossprechen
aktuell current, (the) latest, up-to-date | Aktualan
actual(ly) = eigentlich, wirklich Zapravo
e Ambulanz outpatient department | Ambulanta
ambulance = r Rettungswagen/r
Ambulanzwagen Ambulanta kola
bald soon | bald = kahl, glatzköpfig
Er hat eine Glatze. = He's bald.
bekommen to get, receive | to become =
e Billion trillion | (US) billion = e Milijarda
s/r Biskuit sponge (cake/dough) | biscuit Biskvit
(cookie) = r Keks, (Amer.) (weiches)
sich) blamieren to disgrace, embarrass; Blamirati se
konkurrieren compete | concur =
| conquer = erobern
konsequent consistent, logical |
consequently = folglich, folgend, als Folge
Maschine airplane | machine = r
Automat (vending machine), s Faxgerät
(fax machine), e Maschine (machine,
engine), e Schreibmaschine (typewriter)
die nächste Maschine nach Berlin = the
next plane/flight to Berlin
r Minister (government) minister,
secretary (US) | minister = r Pfarrer
der Verteidigungsminister Defence
Minister/Secretary of Defense
s Objektiv camera lens | objective = s Ziel
s Perspektiv telescope;
prospect(s) | perspective = e
Note: The German word
Perspektive can also mean
"prospect(s)" or "angle/view."
(Die Arbeitslosen in dieser
Stadt haben fast keine
Perspektiven. = The
unemployed in this city have
almost no prospects.)
Präservativ condom | (food)
preservative = s
Also see > German Words to
e Provision commission, fee |
provision = e Vorsorge
• In bilingual situations, false friends often
result in a semantic change—a real new
meaning that is then commonly used in a
language. For example, the Portuguese
humoroso ("capricious") changed its referent
in American Portuguese to "humorous," owing
to the English surface-cognate "humorous.“
• Limon, D. (1986) False Friends Revisited, Mostovi 2001, www.
• Chesterman, Andrew (1998) Contrastive Functional Analysis. John Benjamins,
• Collins Cobuild English Dictionary. Harper Collins, 1995.
• Golobič, Marjan (1988) A Glossary of English-Slovene False Friends. DZTPS,
• Ivir, V. (1968) SC_E false pair types, SRAZ, 25-26
• Ivir, V. (1980) The seamantics of false-pair analysis
• Limon, David (1986) »False friends and Slovene-English translation«. In: Klinar,
Stanko (ed.) Prispevki k tehniki prevajanja iz slovenščine v angleščino. Didakta,
Radovljica. 1995, pp. 67-74.
• Limon, D (2001)
• The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, on Compact Disc. OUP, 1994.
• Snell-Hornby, Mary (1995) Translation Studies: An integrated approach. John
• Tezaver Eurovoc, 3. zvezek, 3. izdaja. Informacijsko-dokumentacijski center,
• False Friends of the Slavist/Slovenian-
• Borrowings and false friends
between Russian and EnglishDiane Nicholls,